Coming out of CES 2017, one of the key things you heard thrown around from manufacturers was Color Volume. For the past few years, we’ve heard companies talk about what percentage of the DCI/P3 or Rec.2020 color gamuts they cover, but those are 2D measurements. Color volume adds the third dimension, brightness, to the measurement. So what is color volume, and how should we measure and report on it to best distinguish what a display is capable of? Continue Reading →
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The testing setup that I am always in awe of it the one that CNet has. While most of us have to do our testing in a vacuum and rely on subjective memory or our objective test data, CNet has access to almost all the recent, popular displays. The room design enables them to do side-by-side comparison of many displays so they can compare them and not rely on their memory. Since I was in Manhattan for something, I decided to pay a visit to see how their test lab works.
Last month in my 27″ Monoprice Zero-G monitor review I found it lacking. While affordable it had a couple of serious flaws that kept me from recommending it to people. Monoprice also sent along their higher end model, the IPS Glass Panel Pro, to take a look at. After the earlier review I went into this feeling like I would be disappointed but that is not the case. The 27″ Monoprice IPS Glass Panel Pro is a very nice monitor and one that is worth looking at.
LED LCD TVs are the most popular units you will find in stores now. Their combination of attractive form factors, large sizes, and affordable pricing make them the choice for most people after a large TV. Samsung’s best-selling, large LCD model is the 55″ Samsung UN55F7100. With SmartTV and 3D functionality, LED backlighting, and a really nice form factor, it has a lot going for it on the spec sheet. Selling for under $1,700 for a 55″ and under $2,000 for a 60″ makes the price competitive with other displays on the market as well.
Of all the equipment that I’ve reviewed in the past few years, my wife has only really liked one item: Sound bars. They’re simple, they integrate easily with the TV, and they make a huge improvement over the sound of a regular flat-screen TV. Sony has just released their first high-end sound bar, the Sony HT-ST7. it adds a few features that many premium sound bars are missing: HDMI inputs, lossless audio decoding, Bluetooth and NFC. You should be able to easily stream content to the Sony HT-ST7 without having to buy any extra components for it. It also has a wireless subwoofer and comes in a sturdy aluminum chassis with 9 drivers.
For the past few years, Panasonic and Sony have been producing the best value in Blu-ray players. I’ve bought a player from each to use and have been consistently happy with the performance. I even donated the Panasonic DMP-BDT210 to my in-laws for use in their motorhome and it has worked well. On the surface this year the DMP-BDT230 looks to be an incremental upgrade to the prior DMP-BDT220 but under the surface there is a whole lot more going on.
Everyone needs to stop using the Gamut CIE chart on its own. Home Theater still uses it alone. Same with Projector Central. Many other publications and websites do as well. Some might run it with a matching luminance chart, but not most. They don’t include a DeltaE chart to show errors. There is no saturations chart, and there certainly is no Color Checker chart. The worst part is many of these reviews have no idea how badly they are misleading their readers.
If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know that I’m a big believer in the importance of objective measurements and testing. While we all have our own beliefs and preferences, and our own tastes in music and movies and what is enjoyable to us, objective numbers give us something we can all rely on. We might interpret them differently to fit our preferences sometimes, but the numbers themselves remain stable and true, right? Continue Reading →
When you look at a typical home theater display review, there are a few things you are guaranteed to see from any objective analysis. You should see a grayscale chart, showing how accurate and linear it tracks across different values, and you’ll also see a CIE chart showing how accurate the colors are compared to the reference values. You probably will see a gamma chart showing how well it tracks to a certain value (usually 2.2), and you might see contrast readings as well as maximum and minimum light output values. All of this is very useful to someone to know how well a display performs, but there is a lot still missing from this data. Continue Reading →
Recently I got involved in a long thread over at the AVS Forums over the merits of the Sony BDP-S790 player. The crux of the argument from the users and fans of the player was that it had a “better” image than the Oppo BDP-93 players, and a far better image in 3D. Even though I hadn’t used the BDP-S790 yet, this resonated with me as the Oppo BDP-93 has been shown to be bit-perfect on its output, and across all colorspaces as well, so it presents the content on the disc exactly as encoded. Continue Reading →